Madison - Robert James "Bob" Postel, passed on at Madison's William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital Friday, January 25, 2013, at the age of 94, after a very brief illness. Born the youngest and only son of the five children of Frank Postel and Lois (Wheeler) Postel, Bob was a Madisonian, Dairyman, Badger Fan, and Packer-Backer to his core.
Preceded in death by his wife Jennie, and survived by his daughter Jan (Hans) Zoerb, sons Bob (Robin) Postel and John (Donna) Postel, grandchildren Casey (Amanda) Postel, Elissa Zoerb, Katie Postel, and Sara (Tom) Williams, and great grandchildren Blake, Eli, and Grady, nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.
Bob lived much more than what almost anyone would call a full life. Born in Muscoda, WI in 1918 and coming of age in Madison, WI during the Depression, Bob was always one to find the challenge and sunshine in a new day.
Having graduated Madison Central High School in the 30's, with the country still deep in financial turmoil, he and his buddies would make their way via car or freight train to California. Working odd jobs around the movie studios and encountering many of the stars of the day, Bob was never short on stories about those formative times. With the likely onset of World War II, he and his friends decided to be proactive and join the Army. This landed Bob in the wartime hotspot of Alaska, where he kept democracy safe from card cheats and crooked craps games. Soon a Staff Sergeant in the Medical Corps, and with war raging in Europe, he shipped out aboard the Queen Elizabeth and arrived in Europe.
As the war was coming to a close, Bob was among the first Liberators to pass through the gates of the Buchenwald concentration camp. The experiences and images there helped shape his life. In fact, he was recently honored in the U.S. Capitol rotunda and at other celebrations hosted by the U.S. Holocaust Museum around D.C. for surviving Liberators. During this trip, Bob especially enjoyed touring the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. He also participated in a Badger Honor Flight and appreciated the efforts acknowledging those who served during WW II.
Bob spent most of his life working in the dairy industry, primarily with Borden Dairy, in Madison, Milwaukee, Pekin, IL, and Southbend, IN. He eventually returned to Madison and worked as a consultant for Bowman Dairy. For many years, he spent the winter months in Bradenton, FL, where he made many wonderful friends on the nearby island of Long Boat Key. During the good weather months in Madison, Bob could usually be found at the Oakcrest Tavern, Lane's Bakery or the Avenue Bar, sharing good times with friends both old and new. Until the last week of his life, Bob stayed active and kept himself young by making close friends with people one-half or one-quarter his age. Bob was a dedicated lifetime Badger sports fan. He was also a huge Packer fan and loved to tell about being at the famous "Ice Bowl." Another great pleasure was following and attending Chicago Blackhawks hockey games with good friends. More often than not, Bob could be found with his camera in hand capturing the people, sites, and festivities in life. His photo collection is almost beyond cataloging. Perhaps Bob's favorite place in the world was Dairyman's Country Club in Boulder Junction, WI, where he would vacation with his family and dear friends like John and Bonnie Beyler and would entertain his many client-friends. He also would make annual trips to the North Woods for deer hunting; really just an excuse to play cards with friends and enjoy the libations and food. When in Madison, Bob was a morning regular at Lane's Bakery. Despite having suffered a recent stroke, Bob still stayed active with family and friends. He loved being at his son Bob's farm house in Oregon, surrounded by his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was an amazing man who led an amazing life and always greeted the day with a smile. He will be with us forever in our loving memories.
A Visitation will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Rd. from 4-7 pm on Thursday, January 31, 2013. Burial will take place on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 11am at Muscoda Public Cemetery in Muscoda, WI.
Memorial contributions may be made to Badger Honor Flight at http://www.badgerhonorflight.org/